Our tipster Jones Knows is back for another season and wants to take advantage of the surge in the number of cards by backing Ederson at 7/1 to be shown one.
We go again. Start afresh. Back to a bank of zero. We managed to clamber our way to +43 worth of profit last campaign so the aim must be sail past it. No-one likes standing still.
A crackdown on time-wasting and dissent is music to the ears of someone like me who has despised the lack of respect for referees and the complete shortcomings in the time-keeping system at top-level football.
The message has been taken on loud and clear by the officials judging by last weekend’s EFL fixture list. There were 190 yellow cards shown across the three leagues – that’s 54 more than the opening weekend of last season and is the most shown over the last 20 years of data. Startlingly, 29 of those cards were shown for time-wasting. An increase of 28 from the previous opening weekend where just one was shown across the fixture list.
Of course, betting on yellow cards is a common and popular way of the football betting landscape and this developing trend, despite the sample size being only of one weekend, is something to certainly explore over the opening weeks of the season. Bookmakers will be quite nervous in pricing up the booking points and individual cards markets – and when bookmakers are nervous, punters should act in the anticipation that total yellow card counts will be on the sharp rise.
Referee Craig Pawson could be out to make a statement in front of the cameras for this season opener and my eyes are drawn to Ederson at 7/1 to pick up a card. The Brazilian has been carded in four of his last 12 away games and is playing for a side who are given a 79 per cent of winning this game, meaning the probability of him having the chance to slow the game down when City are in front is high.
Bournemouth conceded 21 goals from set-pieces (excluding penalties) last season – the most of any team. Plus, Andoni Iraola’s side conceded 23 goals from corners and free-kicks in his last two seasons in charge of the club – again the worst record of any side. This suggests to me he doesn’t spend too much time worrying about being organised from defensive set-pieces situations and Moyes will be licking his lips at the prospect of pummelling them from wide areas.
My eyes are drawn to Tomas Soucek at the prices. His powers are seemingly on the wane in this side but he is still a major threat from set-pieces. In his final seven Premier League appearances last season he has 12 shots at goal to a backdrop of 1.17 worth of expected goals – a healthy return. Five of those attempts were headers, so the 22/1 dangled by Sky Bet on him scoring with a header does seem rather generous.
Since Jurgen Klopp tweaked Trent Alexander-Arnold’s position ahead of the draw with Arsenal last season, Liverpool’s performance levels spiked, with there being much more emphasis on his creative skills being utilised in a more central position. And while his prices across a variety of markets fail to mirror his new more attack-minded hybrid role, there remains betting angles to exploit.
In that period, no player made more successful passes in the opposition half (382) and no player registered more assists than the seven Alexander-Arnold conjured up in his final 10 Premier League games of last season. He also ranked second for penalty-box entries (116) – simplified as balls played into the box – behind Kieran Trippier. And he ranked fourth for chances created (23).
In a Liverpool team that surely won’t hold back on Sunday, all this evidence points towards the 100/30 with Sky Bet on him registering another assist at Stamford Bridge being a strongly fancied play.